Santa Clara Men's Soccer Picked First in WCC Preseason Poll; Women's Team Picked Second

Aug. 14, 2007

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's soccer team was picked to win its 10th West Coast Conference title in the WCC preseason coaches poll, while the women's team finished second in the women's preseason coaches poll. The men's team is coming off a WCC Championship in 2006 and a trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals, while the women also won the title in 2006 and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Cam Rast's squad lost only three players following the 2006 season and looks primed for another WCC title shot, while the women have reloaded with a strong incoming class and some key returnees.

On the men's side, the Broncos have 19 letterwinners back from the 2006 team, including leading scorer Peter Lowry, who was named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy watch list this year. The team also returns WCC Co-Freshman of the Year Stephen McCarthy, along with All-WCC performers Matt Hatzke, Jamil Roberts, Jide Ogunbiyi and Jeff Cosgriff. All-WCC goalkeeper Joseph Buttitta also returns after having a standout season in 2006. SCU, which is ranked No. 5 in the country in College Soccer News' preseason Top 30, has won nine WCC titles in its history.

The men's team earned five first-place votes and 35 points in the preseason poll and are followed by San Francisco, which picked up the other two first-place votes and 28 points. San Diego was picked third, while Loyola Marymount and Portland tied for fourth, followed by Gonzaga and Saint Mary's.

Jerry Smith's women's team, ranked No. 15 in Soccer Buzz's preseason poll, is also looking for its 10th WCC title, and will have to rely on some new, talented faces to achieve that goal. With 10 seniors gone to graduation, the Broncos enter the season with one of their smallest rosters. However, the roster features talent from back to front, starting with the forward line. Up top, Smith will count on 2006 leading scorer Meagan Snell, who was named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy watch list, sophomores Kiki Bosio and Lexi Orand, freshman Jessie Baddley and senior Tina Estrada, who missed 2006 with a knee injury. Other key returnees include All-WCC senior Brittany Klein, All-WCC goalkeeper Meagan McCray, Chioma Igwe and Hayley Siegel.

The SCU women earned two first-place votes and picked up 44 points to finish second behind Portland, which earned six first-place votes and 48 points. Pepperdine and San Diego were picked third and fourth respectively, followed by Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga, San Francisco and Saint Mary's.

Both the men's and the women's teams kick-off the season on Friday, Aug. 31 with a doubleheader at Buck Shaw Stadium. The women play San Jose State in a Rivalry Series match at 5:30 p.m. PT, followed by the men at 8 p.m. PT against Alabama A&M. For tickets, call 408-554-4660 or go to santaclarabroncos.com.

2007 Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
1. Portland - 48 (6)
2. Santa Clara - 44 (2)
3. Pepperdine - 33
4. San Diego - 30
5. Loyola Marymount - 27
6. Gonzaga - 22
7. San Francisco - 12
8. Saint Mary's - 8
(First place votes)

2007 Men's Soccer Preseason Poll
1. Santa Clara - 35 (5)
2. San Francisco - 28 (2)
3. San Diego - 20
4(t). Loyola Marymount - 19
4(t). Portland - 19
6. Gonzaga - 18
7. Saint Mary's - 8
(First place votes)